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High school is known to be the best two years of your life. And learning IB makes it more special. Why? you may ask. It’s because the curriculum would have you on your toes, not only in terms of academics, but literally on your toes.
What are extracurricular activities?
Extracurricular activities are pursued in addition to the normal course of study. IB requires you to and provides the opportunity of engaging in extracurriculars during the IBDP. This will in turn benefit you when you apply for university applications.
But, can they be overwhelming? And how important is it for the long run? These two years are the chance for you to explore yourself with and without your school shoes on. Believe it or not, extracurriculars have the power of boosting your application along with your test scores and grades from examinations. IB stresses and strongly believes in learning just as well outside the classroom as well.
Extracurriculars, community service and athletic pursuits can teach you so many things that no teacher can tell you because it’s the experience that counts. These activities go up to an extent of defining who you are depending on what you do. This tells the college board more about yourself and past how your grades define you.
No one likes to work hard and not play, right? IB ensures to strike a work-play balance because students can get quite exhausted by just the stress of all their deadlines. Being exposed to any sort of activity would make you motivated, physically sharp and everything but a lazy, couch potato.
Delving into the important part? What extracurriculars have I been talking about so greatly? Well, this blog wouldn’t be enough to pour out all the good ideas. But, know that the skills that you benefit from the most are setting goals, time-management, problem-solving and much more. Nevertheless, some of them are mentioned below:
- Model United Nations (MUN) – this is a way to impart knowledge about current affairs, international relations, diplomacy and what not. MUN’s can have a strong seat at your application because it shows that you’re not only aware, but you’re also taking the effort to know more about the world.
- Starting your own club – Doing this puts your entrepreneurship and leadership skills to a test. Again, this could talk about so many qualities that you have, including the aforementioned points. For instance, I try to engage myself in art and design as much as I can, and what better way to do that than starting an art club.
- Any sort of sports
- Community service – Contributing to society tells them that you are just as concerned about the world around you, and not only the world that revolves around you.
- Any internships in a field that interests you – This will show how interested and invested you are in terms of your career.
- Academic competitive teams
- Learning any form of art – Be it music, dance or design. Take up a course and educate yourself with something that might be a new-found interest.
- Foreign Language clubs – This may let you reconnect with the roots of your culture and get a taste of the world’s diversity at the comfort of your chair.
- Student councils/governments – Shows that you’re making an impact at school.
Don’t stop here! You should not give the impression of just leisurely spending your valuable time in these two years. What they would like to hear is your reflection on these activities and what you learned from doing it. Reflecting on these experiences are just as valuable for college. For instance, starting a club during your DP shows that you can strike a balance between work and school, and also that you were mature enough to take the decision. Colleges love to see students developing their passion and interests.
- Don’t let your grades go down in the name of doing extracurricular activities. Your test scores are just as important, and the college board would never disregard it if your extracurriculars are exemplary. If you notice that your grades are dropping, cut back on your activities.
- Try to focus more on leadership positions and create an impact during your DP years. Be a part of a community that organizes an event or better, start a club. Reflect on how you’ve grown over time because the college board loves to see progress just as much as the results.
- Be the jack of all trades, and the master of a few. Try out a variety of activities you could engage in in the beginning and narrow down to 3-5. Focus on what interests you the most and develop your role into something higher. Take on leadership roles, even if the project is small. Everything you do in these two years can help you at one point.
- Don’t get bored of whatever you do. Sometimes, students get over-enthusiastic and enroll themselves in one too many things. This could burn them out within a span of very little time especially with academics happening side by side.
How do they benefit you?
- Believe it or not, extracurriculars can genuinely improve your grades! Students tend to worry that these activities may take up too much of their time or can be too distracting. Not to worry! Everything in moderation will result in the exact outcome you are hoping for at the end of school.
- As this is a chance for you to explore your interests and step outside your comfort zone, you might discover some new found hobbies that you didn’t know you were good at! Diversifying your interests broadens your world view and perspectives on many things.
- These can also be a chance for you to form new bonds and make friends! Every different activity that you engage in exposes you to a different group thereby resulting in a larger social network. TIP: Having a large circle of friends in different fields can be very beneficial to you when you look for a job.
- You tend to gain essential life skills over the course of doing these activities. It pushes your abilities and puts you to a test. Skills like teamwork, time management and problem solving can be of great help when you begin working in a workplace.
- There’s never too little activities to add to your resumes. Each activity talks about a different skill that you have established. Assessing your abilities and work ethic through these activities makes it easier for your employers to make the decision of promoting you.
All in all, don’t forget that any kind of hobby can be turned into an extracurricular activity. Therefore, you have a sea of opportunities when it comes to nurturing yourself into a better human being. This is also a golden chance for you to discover something new that interests you. Start a business, a website and what not. Really, the possibilities are endless. Be mindful of the fact that you’re also here to have fun, so don’t miss out on that! Enjoy 🙂
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1: What are some common extracurricular activities students engage in during the IB program?
A: Some common extracurricular activities include sports teams, music and drama clubs, volunteer work, and academic clubs like Model UN or debate.
Q2: How many extracurricular activities should I participate in during the IB program?
A: The number of extracurricular activities you participate in should depend on your personal interests, time management skills, and academic workload. It’s better to participate in a few activities that you are passionate about rather than spreading yourself too thin.
Q3: Do extracurricular activities have an impact on college admissions?
A: Yes, extracurricular activities can have an impact on college admissions as they show a student’s involvement in the community and their interests outside of academics. However, it’s important to note that quality of involvement and leadership roles are more important than quantity.
Q4: Can I start a new club or organization during the IB program?
A: Yes, starting a new club or organization is a great way to showcase your leadership skills and interests. You can work with your school administration to create a new club that aligns with your passions.
Q5: How do I balance extracurricular activities with academics during the IB program?
A: Time management is key when it comes to balancing extracurricular activities with academics during the IB program. Prioritize your academic work first, and then schedule time for extracurricular activities. Make sure to also schedule time for self-care and relaxation to avoid burnout.